A Warhammer battle is a chaotic thing. Units of bellowing warriors charge and counter-charge, hacking at the foe with axe, sword and cleaver. The ground trembles to the hooves of galloping cavalry. Archers blacken the skies with arrows, cannons belch forth death and puissant sorcerers wield devastating magic.
Fighting a BattleURL Copied!
In order to turn the maelstrom of battle into a manageable game, players alternate moving and fighting with their units. So, one player will move and fight with their forces first, and then the opponent will move and fight. This process is then repeated, with the first player moving and fighting again, and so on until the game is done.
Choosing An Army
First, you must choose an army to play and a points value to use. In a pitched battle, both your and your opponent’s armies should be at the same points value. You are allowed to have less points than that agreed on, but not more.
The size of the battlefield depends on the size of the game played. A standard game of 2500 points is best played on a 72" x 48" table.
Firstly, place the terrain you want to use. Rules are not strict here, but a good guideline is placing one terrain piece for every 24" x 24" square of the table.
Players take their turn to place the terrain pieces on the tabletop. Once finished, both players should agree on what sort of terrain each piece is to clarify what certain rules they might have during the battle.
After placing the terrain, it is time to choose which side of the table each player deploys on. Normally, this is the longer sides of the table. Each player rolls a dice and whoever rolls highest picks the side of the table they wish their army to start on and deploy their first unit. The two players then take it in turns to place their units until they are finished.
All units (not including Characters) costing less than 50 points must be placed at the same time. All Characters must be placed at the same time after all your other units have been deployed, but may be set up in separate locations or units in their deployment zone.
When deploying your units, place them at least 1" apart so it is made clear which units are separate from each other.
Starting The Battle
After deployment is finished, the players roll a dice to decide which player will begin. The player with the least amount of deployment drops adds +1 to their result. In case both players roll the same result, re-roll the dice until one player rolls higher.
A standard game lasts 6 whole turns. A turn consists of the Movement, Magic, Shooting and Close Combat phase of both players. Once the 6 turns are finished, calculate the casualties and completed objectives for both armies to determine the winner. For more information on various battles, see the Scenario chapter.
Players alternate moving and fighting with their units. So, one player will move and fight with their forces first, and then the opponent will move and fight. This process is then repeated, with the first player moving and fighting again, and so on until the game is done.
During their turn, a player can usually move and fight will of all of their units. For convenience and flow of game play, we divide a player's turn into four main phases:
This means you move any models you want first, then cast spells, then shoot and finally resolve any close combats. This process helps to keep track of what is going on and makes it easier to know when one player's actions are over and the opponent can start their turn.
The Turn Sequence
In a complete game turn, both players get a player turn, each divided into the Movement, Magic, Shooting and Close Combat phases, as shown above. One game turn will therefore comprise two player turns, each with its own Movement, Magic, Shooting and Close Combat phases. Whenever a rule refers to a 'turn', whether in this book, a Warhammer Armies book or an expansion, it means 'player turn', otherwise it will specifically state 'game turn'.
While playing your game of Warhammer, you'll occasionally discover exceptions to the general turn sequence laid out above, when things are worked out as they occur rather than in any strict order, or perhaps that both players will have to do something at the same time. Occasionally the actions of one player will trigger the sudden appearance of a particular troop type, or may activate some special rule or occurrence. When this happens, the exceptional rule will contain all the information you need to resolve it.